The challenges inherent in energy policy form an increasingly large proportion of the great issues of global governance. These energy challenges reflect numerous transnational market or governance failures, and their solutions are likely to require a number of global components that can support or constrain national energy policy. Governing energy globally requires approaches that can simultaneously cope with three realities: the highly fragmented and conflictual nature of the current inter-state system’s efforts to govern energy; the diversity of institutions and actors relevant to energy; and the dominance of national processes of energy decision making that are not effectively integrated into global institutions.
The lack of clarity on and priorities for the objectives of global energy governance impedes coordination and communication.
The energy landscape is littered with governors and institutions. But because they have emerged in a path-dependent fashion, often in response to serial crisis, the result is an uncoordinated and inchoate landscape. There is now a compelling need to harness this diversity productively.
An emergent array of partnerships and networks are coming together, particularly with regard to clean energy finance, which provide possible sources of governance innovation but also have the potential for low levels of legitimacy and transparency.
National decision making continues to drive energy policy, in ways that are poorly coordinated both internally and with regard to global processes of governance. National energy policy processes need enormous improvement and need to be consciously coordinated with global processes. The Asian giants will be crucial actors in this regard.